It’s time to announce it: At the beginning of August I will be taking up the role of Associate in the Parish of St. Nicolas, Newbury, in West Berkshire, in the Diocese of Oxford. In July, the Briggs Family will be moving to England.
There’s no doubt about it, this is a big move! In some sense it has come as a surprise. But mostly it clearly aligns with how God has led us, and is leading us, in ministry, as a family.
Tasmania is our home in many ways, where we have been formed by God, and learned to trust him. Over the years he has given us a passion for discipleship and for growing church communities that worship God in every part, and so bless the world. But at the same time as rooting us where we are, he has lifted our eyes. And that same passion has had us looking, and now moving, to England. God has called us to the other side of the world. This is a step of faith, trusting that God will meet us in Newbury, and bless us to be a blessing.
We are looking forward to being part of St. Nic’s as the church acts in the vision of “being good news, and bringing good news.” We have already visited the parish as part of the appointment process where we discovered a great affection for the church family, and for the town itself. We are looking forward to putting down new roots and discovering the details of God’s purpose there.
- Pray for our children. Anna (who is now 18yo) will be coming with us, possibly after some gap year travelling. The other three will be transitioning into a new school system. We have already visited one of the local schools, and met some of the teachers and are encouraged by what we see. Please be praying for Samuel, Ethan, and Miriam.
- We are also in the process of applying for Gill’s spouse visa (I am a British Citizen, and so are the children, so we can travel on UK passports). Please be praying for all the paperwork to go smoothly.
- Please be praying as we dismantle our household goods and either sell them off or pack them up and send them. There are lots of logistics, and plenty of hidden expenses that we will have to face.
Throughout this whole journey there is one thing that is certain: God is good. And he is kind to us. We have never known such blessing and assurance. We have been aware of his presence and his deep peace. Where we have had financial needs, he has provided for us through the love of his people. Where we have faced fears and anxieties, he has blessed us with words of comfort through the love of his people. We will have more need of such things before this journey is through; but we remain convinced of God’s trustworthiness and that, in the words of Psalm 27, we will see the goodness of the Lord, here and now in the land of the living.